Evaluation of ros slam gmapping for extraterrestrial robotic mining

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University of Alabama Libraries

Advancements in technology have allowed considerable progress toward putting humans on Mars. The next major hurtle in this endeavor is to resolve the lack of necessary resources available on Mars for maintaining human life. Recent discoveries present the possibility of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) on Mars. The presence of ice presents the potential for living off the land. Specifically, by mining material from the surface and processing said material for usable water. It is evident an autonomous solution will be necessary to make ISRU possible. The greater the autonomy, the greater the potential. Increased autonomy leads to less human supervision and interaction which will save not only time but also reduce cost. This thesis evaluates the capabilities of Gmapping, a ROS based SLAM algorithm and its applicability to extraterrestrial mining for ISRU. The out-of-the-box implementation of this SLAM node illustrates a strong potential for mission success, however, preliminary results highlight potential issues when operating on unpredictable terrain.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Robotics, Computer engineering, Electrical engineering